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No. 103 (May/June 2008)

Situations Present and Pending

by Win Wenger


Please see also these relevant articles:
Oceanic Fish-Farming ... "Feeding the World" ... Hurricane Stopper
and the original invention, Beachbuilder

Tired of higher food prices?

Here in the privileged regions of the world, try to imagine the impact of those prices on less favored regions of the world — not just Darfur, but all over. We are in the process of starving tens of millions of people to death, and stunting the development and human future (and contributions) of hundreds of millions of innocent children. The present and pending problems are much more than just the usual matter of world hunger and of people at the margins starving to death.

It does not stop there.

  • The malnourished fall prey to disease. Widespread malnutrition and starvation always provide traction for plagues and epidemics. Diseases, especially exotic diseases, spread. Anything serious, our medical resources will quickly be overwhelmed. You and I may have to pay more than just the annoyance of higher food prices.

  • Expect food prices to double again this year — if we are lucky. If our luck runs out, we’ve run ourselves straight into world-wide famine.
Cause #1 of food scarcity and possible pending famine: — oil prices. Not only the cost of transportation and distribution of bulky agricultural products, but the costs of producing them in the first place.

We can't blame our turning corn into ethanol. That practice has yet to put even a dent into our exports.

Do you think oil prices are going to get any better? Or are they headed further skyward?

Cause #2 of food scarcity and pending famine: — every few centuries, global climate de-stabilizes as it is doing now. This time may be even worse than previous historic occasions because of human effects upon the climate this time around, or may not be — but while that argument goes on, the problem itself is upon us, though narrowly conceived politics-as-usual continues. Land-based agriculture is collapsing as climate starts to fluctuate, because, from one year to the next, farmers no longer know what to plant, when or where (even if oil prices let them afford to).

So we are all facing something more than just an annoyance of higher food prices. There does appear to be, however, a simple, relatively easy-to-implement and surprisingly potent answer, one which could be implemented quickly.


The ocean, our greatest resource - photo courtesy of Elan Sun Star A Solution:  Oceanic Fish Farming

Please examine the articles cited and linked at the start of this article: “The Blue Revolution,” “Feeding the World,” and “Beachbuilder.”

Surprisingly few millions of dollars, less than one percent of one percent of the annual cost of the war, could easily double world production of protein. A little more could cover for even an outright world-wide collapse of land-based agriculture.

  • Simple, obvious prudence argues forcefully that “we” undertake this. Certainly someone should, but the ones responsible, or whom you would expect to respond to this, have thus far not done so nor shown any sign that they might take an interest.

  • Humanitarian concerns argue this case even more forcefully. (And I cannot imagine the majority of the human race going down quietly into the dust. The shoulder with which we give a Darwinian shrug to the matter may find the buzzards perching on it, too.) Under present-day conditions, we are losing not only contributions to our civilization and culture beyond counting through the dulling-down of the starved; you and we are also losing markets for our products and services.

  • Like a mile-high lake with a channel to the sea, there is in this situation plenty of “energy available for work.” Huge differences in outcome are at stake, some portion of which appears to be quite transactable.


Why am I writing this?

No one else has picked this up, and our own enterprise of Project Renaissance, which is interested in these matters among others, is simply way undermanned. We can’t even begin Step One on this without various engineers, entrepreneurs, people with business skills and inclination, and people with various forms of wisdom and acumen.

Nor does this have to be my or “our” enterprise. Almost anyone might be better situated to start this endeavor than we are, but look around. This idea has been around for a decade now, and no one has picked it up. Meanwhile, our lemming-like economic behavior has not only continued but has gone much further toward the cliff, and we’ve simply run out of time.

If you can take this and run with it on your own, more power to you. This oceanic fish-farming can be made, clearly, highly profitable. The thing much needs to be done, whoever gets the rewards from doing so. We do, however, bring to the table a relevant asset or so which could make ours useful as a rallying-point to get action started. This can be a wholly independent enterprise or a subsidiary one, a for-profit or non-profit. And if Project Renaissance does get to be part of this rally, directly or otherwise, we may be able to leverage a few other good things into happening.

Whatever its ownership and articulation:  if, in any capacity you can — after critical review of the articles cited — help this thing into being or be part of it, or even be the head of such an endeavor, please let me hear from you now, by email to Win Wenger. Thank you.


Comments to:
Win Wenger

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